"We are allowed to do that, are we not Mabel? To invent our own endings and choose joy over sorrow?”
If you're looking for plot twists, strong magical realism theme, then The Snow Child is definitely not what to go for, the ending was even underwhelming and messy and sadly even a little anticipated. Now all of this out of the way lets take a moment to appreciate the great, rich, slowly brewing and absolutely gorgeous writing. Eowyn Ivey has taken those two stereotypical characters, even put them in the solitude in a cabin, In Alaska, and still managed to make Jack and Mabel surprise us and then some. Their pain, the unanswered wishes, their loneliness and separation. The way you feel the snow falling and see the colors of the sky, all the nature (and oh the husky and the furs and foxes *cuddles*) and beauty and hardships of being away from civilization and the 1920s. They are old but some two tough cookies though (but I would have really liked it if I wasn't reminded of their age or how old they are every other page, a little subtlety my lovely!!).
“It was beautiful, Mabel knew, but it was a beauty that ripped you open and scored you clean so that you were left helpless and exposed, if you lived at all.”
And then the fairy tail takes place, the snow child materializes and becomes the change that takes their hands and their old fingers interlace and all the space starts to vanish. The girl comes and goes, but the regrets and the mourning and the sadness never really goes away. The girl comes and goes, and sometimes we are left with the impression that she never really existed in the first place. Her tracks were never more the delicate prints in the snow, a simple mirage, a hallucination that emerged from their deepest desires (but I still think mass hallucinations are a bit impractical since there is no way they'd all have the same ones).
“In my old age, I see that life is often more fantastic and terrible than stories we believed as children, and that perhaps there is no harm in finding magic among the trees.”